Forefront Meta Report DoD Edition 9

We are now near the end of Galakrond expansion. As we are expected, Valeera completely dominates the standard meta. Rexxar and Garrosh can barely reach the Tier 1 only because they are doing well against rogue.

Class Analysis

Valeera is so overpowered that Galakrond Rogue defines the new meta. In topped ranking, we can only find rogue decks or decks that counter rogues. By 21% popularity and 53% win rate (despite mirror matchups) of Galakrond Rogue, Valeera sits firmly on the throne of Tier 0.
Galakrond Rogue: As more and more Chinese players bring SI:7, Galakrond Rogues are no longer afraid of hunters and can even suppress them. In the choice of Skyvateer or SI:7, SI:7 proved himself. Therefore, at least in CN hearthstone meta, Dragon Hunter has great disadvantage against rogue. We expect that Dragon Hunter will no longer appear in topped ranking in the future. The deck we recommended today is the Galakrond Rogue of jrsddg who reached the top a few days ago. When facing Highlander Hunters, there are a few tips you should know: 1. Don’t trigger snake trap if you can; 2. Be careful of Rotnest Drake; 3. Keep Titan Lackeys in case of King Crush. When facing Galakrond Warriors, the win conditions are making a huge VanCleef or drawing Galakrond earlier than your opponents.
Highlander Rogue: Compared with Galakrond Rogue, which has clear good/bad matchups, Highlander Rogue is more comprehensive. Zephrys can deal with wide boards. When facing hunters, Zephrys can find Sacrificial Pact for Frenzied Felwing (Demon) or ooze for weapons. Zephrys and Alexstrasza are important cards against Quest Druid too. When you have the upper hands, you can suppress your opponents like a Highlander Hunter. However, Highlander Rogue also has obvious disadvantage – unstable. In many good or balanced matchups, it could lose easily because of loss of tempo. When facing Galakrond Warrior, VanCleef of Highlander Rogue cannot give enough pressure. Therefore, we do not recommend this deck unless you are a true duelist XD. Nevertheless, the Highlander Rogue we posted here has learned from fast44’s build that removes all burgle cards like fox and burglar. Instead, we take Pharaoh Cat, Dragon’s Hoard, Zephrys, and Alexstrasza to activate Vendetta. Underbelly Fence is only strong at early turns. The original deck has Hench-Clan Thug and Spirit of the Shark. To better counter Highlander Hunter and Galakrond Warrior, we added SI:7 and Bone Wraith instead.

Rexxar is right behind of Valeera, seeking for his favored meta.
Highlander Hunter: Highlander Hunter has two distinct builds between CN and foreign players. Most Chinese players take Phase Stalker + snake & freeze combo based on 冰火丨华晨宇 while foreign players mostly dropped such combo. Since the meta of CN tends to be more aggressive, this combo can smooth the deck. You can coin in Phase Stalker at turn 1 without losing tempo at turn 2. The build by foreign players relies on the mulligan rate of 1-mana card more. Such build pursues to cost all mana in every turn, which, after lots of tests and statistics, we don’t think is suitable to CN meta.
Dragon Hunter: Dragon Hunter now has almost replaced Face Hunter, but it is not threating enough towards rogues with SI:7. In topped ranking, Dragon Hunter gradually shows its disadvantage, but it is still a good deck for laddering before legend. geyuan6, one of the greatest deck porters, the bridge between CN and foreign hearthstone, the only true god of NGA HS, said: “Face.”
Quest Hunter: Quest Hunter is a high win rate, low popularity deck in CN. Generally speaking, it is useless except against Galakrond Rogue. You are guaranteed to win every Galakrond Rogue and guaranteed to lose every Galakrond Warrior. Still, a few players are in favor of Quest Hunter since it is good against rogues, but it does not have many good matchups, including Highlander Hunter and Dragon Hunter, let alone Quest Druid.
Face Hunter: Face Hunter has been replaced by Dragon Hunter. Without enough threat toward rogues and warriors, the natural selection of Hearthstone chose Dragon Hunter.

By the good matchups against hunter and rogue, warrior is the true winner.
Galakrond Warrior: Recently under the improvements by monsanto and promotion by Alan870806, CN and foreign meta start to merge new builds of warrior that have more sticky minions instead of charging minions. Since the win condition of Galakrond Warrior is to draw Galakrond as soon as possible, why don’t we drop the charging minions and add more tempo cards? In many cases, Galakrond Warriors are stuck by the clumsy charging minions and lose their tempo. As for Battle Rage, since all the topped players bring it, we don’t have a reason to replace it.
Highlander Warrior: A good deck.

If there is no hunter, everyone plays mage.
Highlander Mage: Despite Highlander Hunter, Highlander Mage also have similar builds between CN and foreign hearthstone. A key difference is whether to add Mountain Giant and Flame Strike. Mountain Giant becomes clumsy against rogues and hunters. Flame Strike usually should combo with Dragoncaster, Tortollan Pilgrim, or Kalecgos. The win condition of Highlander Mage is to play Luna’s Pocket on curve and expand the board by Luna. The new card The Amazing Reno adds more value to Highlander Mage. Because of its strong battlecry and hero power, it is possible that Highlander Mage exhausts opponents’ all threats.

Druid is charging to Tier 1 and embiggens his impact to the meta.
Quest Druid: After the further improvements by 小麦麦, the new build drops Power of the Wild and Cristal Merchant and adds Steel Beatles, which helps Quest Druid to counter all kinds of hunters. Rising Winds can cycle the deck and increase the drawn rate of Nourish. In terms of value, it has two Worthy Expedition. Ysera and King Phaoris also raise Druid’s win rate against control decks. However, King Phaoris is bad against agrro decks, especially hunters. As for Cristal Merchant, it’s not bad before the quest is completed, but it becomes clumsy afterwards compared to Rising Winds.
Embiggen Druid: After investigation, with the new card Escaped Manasaber, Embiggen Druid has better tempo and can play big minions earlier. But the win condition is still to play Embiggen, Strength in Numbers, or activated Breath of Dreams on time. Without these cards, Embiggen Druid is kind of clumsy.
Token Druid: Without any new cards, Token Druid almost disappears in standard. Although it is good against hunter, Quest Druid is not afraid of hunters too.

Warlock faces his downturn after the patch.
Galakrond Warlock: After the new patch, Galakrond Warlock tends to be even slower. It seems to be abandoned by new meta. Although it is good against rogue, warlock is like the sheep in front of the wolf when facing hunters. To counter rogues and give up hunter matchups, why don’t we play Quest Druid?
Zoo Warlock: The main reason for the disappearance of warlock is that Galakrond Zoo Warlocks aren’t smooth at all and traditional Zoo Warlocks cannot keep pressure in mid game. Zoo Warlock supposes to be a strong deck since it is not bad against rogues and druids. However, with the rise of Galakrond Warrior and new card Risky Skipper, it becomes the last straw which breaks the warlock’s back.

No offensive, Paladin is just a “good” class in low ranking.
Mech Paladin: It is good against hunters. So, if you faced a lot of hunters, Mech Paladin is not a bad choice. However, never dream of beating rogues or warriors.

See? Priest.
Resurrect Priest: Nowadays, if a deck can’t beat rogue, then you shouldn’t play it. Resurrect Priest is even countered by rogue, not because of deck, but class. Without new meta, priest will continue to stay in such awkward position.
Combo Priest: Combo Priest isn’t that bad, but it needs experience and fortune. Because of Highlander Hunter, Combo Priest won’t have a comfortable meta, especially that it’s favored matchup Quest Druid is suppressed by hunter too.

Shaman: etc.

Tier List and Method

Tier 0

The one deck that control the enviornment, with extreme power. Most of its matchup except the mirror have a repressive advantage.

Tier 1

Highly environmentally competitive decks, with high strength and upper and lower limits. The only possible disadvantage is the players’ proficiency and lack of understanding of the game; after skilled use, the winrate is 60% nearly.

Tier 2

Decks with high strength in the meta, and one of the upper or lower limit is high; after skilled use, the winrate is around 55%.

Tier 3

Decks with a certain level of strength in the meta, generally decks that can be used for special matchups. it has strong stability but is not as versatile as T2 Decks.

Tier 4

Decks that can be used to climb the ladder, but the stability is poor or the construction is not complete, and the versatility is also bad.


T0 Decks

Galakrond Rogue


T1 Decks

Highlander Hunter


Galakrond Warrior


T2 Decks

Dragon Hunter


Quest Druid


Highlander Rogue


Highlander Mage


Quest Hunter


T3 Decks

Embiggen Druid


Mech Paladin


Resurrect Priest


Highlander Warrior


Aggro Hunter


Galakrond Hand Warlock


Token Druid


Combo Priest



Chief Editor: 造物者 | 小瑜豆子
Associate Editor: 影踪 | 惘闻, AjjCloud
Editors: 十年饮冰, 影踪 | 聪与喵喵, Jrsddg, JrsConley, 冰火 | 华晨宇, 冰火 | 风凌, 能抽能匹小水怪, 雾都 | 食盐
Specially Invited Advisor: 斗鱼小象夕尘残枫
Translator: 梦之郡 | 无月封
General Superintendent: 小海螺
Operations Managers: 五言好帅
Proofreader: 小尉同学
Publisher: 水分子